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How Brands Rode The IPL Wave In The Last Decade

Over the years, IPL has become one of the most successful marketing platforms. Here are some success stories of brands that have benefitted the most with their association with this sporting league

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Ever since its inception in 2008, the India Premier League (IPL) has become a robust platform for brands to reach out to potential customers. Given its popularity, the recently concluded tenth season of IPL raked in over Rs 1,300 crore in revenue, making it one of the richest sporting leagues in the world.

If we look at some of the brands that have benefitted from their association with IPL, names such as Yes Bank, Vodafone, Kingfisher, Usha, Vivo, Amazon and Voltas pop up among others.

IPL Bole Yes!

While IPL has become India’s most successful sports tournament and brand, the evolution of Yes Bank has been exponential after its association with the league.

In 2012, Yes Bank was a small-medium bank – it had just entered the second phase of growth and was focused on diversifying away from the ‘corporate bank’ image, in a sector dominated by domestic and global heavyweights. However, the buzz created by the omnipresent branding across the IPL, properties like the ‘Yes Bank Maximum’ and taglines like ‘India bole Yes!’ have aided the brand in becoming a household name across sections of society.

Over a period of five years, the growth, recall and relevance of the Yes Bank brand after its partnership with the IPL has delivered more than 180 million impressions across 25 million active cricket fans on Facebook & Twitter. Over 10 million users engaged with the content with the fan following increasing by more than 1.5 million followers across all platforms. The video campaign with the brand integration of Yes Bank Maximum has got over 40 million video views with more than 30 per cent brand recall lift across the target segment. The media value delivered by IPL for Yes Bank rose from INR 118.66 crore in 2013 to Rs 274.36 crore in 2016. The first 20 matches of the 2017 season saw a media value of INR 58.12 crore delivered.

Underlying the importance of IPL in helping brands leverage the popularity of this gaming genre and how Yes Bank has benefitted from this association, Rajat Mehta, Senior President & Country Head – Brand & Retail Marketing, Yes Bank, said, “This is the fifth year of Yes Bank’s partnership with the IPL – this is quite easily the biggest and most visible branding exercise that we undertake during this two month period each year. Over the past five years, the branding across TV, on ground (venues), our branches and online, has provided a huge fillip to the Yes Bank brand and I have reason to believe that both the brands have grown in tandem during this period.”

The King of Good Times
Kingfisher has been one of the brands associated with the cricketing league since its inception in 2007. Over the years, the brand has come out with campaigns that have cricketers moving and humming to the tune of its signature ‘Oo la la leo’ jingle and incorporated hybrid activations through VR. This year the brand came out with a series of video commercials themed around the ‘Mannequin Challenge’ featuring players from different IPL teams.

Terming IPL as a platform that has helped Kingfisher ‘drive brand values’, Samar Singh Sheikhawat, Senior Vice President – Marketing, United Breweries Limited, defines the brands association with the sporting league in these words, “IPL has helped us drive certain brand values in terms of youthfulness, style etc. It is the right mix for everything and supports the brand perfectly and has helped us to increase the brand value of Kingfisher. Each year we have successfully captured the essence of the brand with our much acclaimed campaign under the headline, ‘Divided by Teams, United by Kingfisher’ and connected with the right audience. Moreover, the association of sports and beer dates back to hundreds of years, so this is a natural fit.”

The Party Goes On

IPL sponsorships have helped telecom brands such as Vodafone and Jio also. Vodafone with its ‘Superfan’, ‘Supercheer’ and 'Zumis' initiatives led the race in this category while Jio was highly noticeable with its on-ground and off-ground activations and campaigns this year.

Even Chinese smartphone maker Vivo's association with IPL has been a big success too since its title sponsorship with the league for the last two seasons. Vivo leapfrogged its market share to 6.6 per cent, making it the fourth-largest handset player in India, proving once again how IPL is helping brands leverage their market potential.

Speaking about the positive impact that IPL has ensured for its sponsors and how brands are keen to get associated with IPL, Jayati Singh, Vice President-Marketing for Cooking Appliances and Sewing Machines, Usha International commented, “Our long-term commitment for the fourth consecutive year with Mumbai Indians was a strategic brand initiative towards connecting with people across all age groups, genders, and income groups. This association has had a positive impact in terms of the Usha brand visibility and recall and therefore we have extended our association by another year.”

(With inputs from Taniya Tikoo)

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indian premier league sports yes bank kingfisher